Iraqi forces capture 5 top Islamic State leaders in cross-border raid

Iraqi elections

A street full of election posters in Najaf Iraq

Five senior Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) officials have been captured, including a top aide to the group's leader, in a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence, two Iraqi officials said on Wednesday (May 9).

Two of Islamic State's most feared leaders have been captured in recent weeks.

Ismail al-Eithawi, who also uses the alias Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, was captured in February in Turkey by Turkish authorities and handed over to Iraqi agents, Iraqi security advisor Hisham al-Hashimi told Reuters on Thursday.

Iraqis security forces, expats start voting in parliamentary elections.

Ryan Dillon tweeted on Thursday that Iraq captured five key ISIS leaders as part of Operation Roundup.

Those arrested included Saddam al-Jammel, a Syrian who had been the head of the ISIS territory around Deir el-Zour, and Abu Abdel al-Haq, an Iraqi who had been the head of internal security for the group.

Hashimi said the operation was carried out in cooperation with U.S. forces, part of an American-led coalition fighting against Islamic State on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border. After American and Iraqi intelligence agents extracted banking and communication codes from Ithawi's phone, Iraqi agents lured the other men into their trap and arrested them.

Incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has cautiously trodden a diplomatic middle course between Tehran and Washington, ensuring the cooperation of both in the war against IS, which overran a third of Iraq in 2014.

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